Horses To Follow » Three Musketeers

Three Musketeers

Three Musketeers put up a really good performance to win the Grade 2 two-mile-five-furlong novices’ hurdle at Warwick on Saturday.

Dan Skelton’s horse travelled well through his race, and he went on at the top of the home straight. He was a little untidy at the second last flight, he got a little unbalanced, and that gave his sole pursuer Ballagh a chance, but he picked up again when Harry Skelton got him straightened out, and he battled on well up the run-in to get the better of the highly-promising Ballagh.

This is solid form. The first two horses came clear, and the third horse was Shantou Bob, who had run subsequent Challow Hurdle runner-up Vyta Du Roc to a nose in a Grade 2 race at Sandown on his previous run, when subsequent winner Tara Point was back in third. Also, the winning time was really good, the fastest hurdle race of the day and almost bang on Racing Post par. This race has been won in the past by Inglis Drever, No Refuge, Carruthers, The New One and last year by Deputy Dan, and Three Musketeers could be very good. Both the winner and the runner-up – both, incidentally, formerly trained by Charlie Swan – could go on to much better things.

This was just Three Musketeers’ second run over hurdles – he had won his maiden well on his only previous run – and just his third run under all codes (his previous run was in a point-to-point), so he has lots of scope for progression. It was interesting that Dan Skelton said afterwards that he might skip Cheltenham and possibly run at Aintree instead. Perhaps the trainer feels that his horse is a little immature for the hurly burly of Cheltenham. The ground was soft here, as it was for his debut over hurdles, but he did finish second in his point-to-point on good to yielding ground, so he could be okay on better ground as well. He is an exciting prospect.

10th January 2015